Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    January 28, 2013 3:30pm-4:00pm PST

3:30 pm
you can proceed. >> the line got mixed up so most of the people in line didn't get called. out in the hall they told us -- >> chair wiener: if there's been any confusion just go ahead and speak. that's fine. >> my name is sarah, i moved back to san francisco 10 years ago to take care of my -- partially to take care of my father who had gone on disability and lives in a represent controlle -- rent cond apartment. people talk about home ownership. most of us would love to own a home in san francisco. we would be happy to stay here. in 1980, they were having a debate about condo conversion in san francisco, actually, at the supervisors hearing. and the debate then was if something became a condo, did 40% of the existing tenants have to be able to buy in, or did 80%
3:31 pm
of the existing tenants have to buy in. right now, none of the existing tenants have to buy in, for it to become a condo. it can go to a t.i.c. first and flip that process. we're not talking about tenants and buildings being able to buy their units. renters being able to buy their units. you're asking people who are a higher income group being able to kick out people, often with a middle man, a speculator, doing it. if folks here wanted to live in a unit they would be asking you to pass this with a 10 year ban on renting or selling the unit. before it could be sold. but many people are going to condo convert and then flip it. my friend actually owns a t.i.c. he bought it for 260,000. his t.i.c. owner upstairs just
3:32 pm
sold their unit for 450. that was five years ago. so clearly you can sell your t.i.c. unit for some money. they knew what they were getting into when they bought the unit. there's a lottery. the lottery didn't start last week. my dad pays two-thirds of his income in rent. his building just sold. i'm really scared. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> i have my card here. my name's jennifer grant, i've lived in san francisco for 25 years. i've worked at nonprofits that entire time, nonprofits funded by the san francisco. i ran two of the battered women's shelter for 17 years. currently i work at one of the family resource centers. as a single woman i saved for many years, i borrowed from my family, and was able to purchase my own home after renting for many years through the san francisco first time home
3:33 pm
buyers program. my wife and i have two children who have been in public schools their entire lives. they're 6th graders at roosevelt. my kids go to the beacon program and qualify for scholarships at summer camp, qualify for muni. we're 4,000 shy of qualifying for free lunches. we are not high income people. over the past three to four years our income has gone down, my partner has lost work, and our mortgage continues to go up. we're unable to refinance. we're about to be housed out of the market -- i mean priced out of san francisco and out of the market. this is affordable housing. that is the only -- i could not afford the rental market right now. i could maybe leave the city, and rent for much more than my mortgage is. but -- and my house is not part of the rental market so nobody is losing anything by me being
3:34 pm
able to stay in my house except that you would lose a family who's very much a part of san francisco and has been for a long time. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker please. >> >> my name is -- ingles, i've lived in the city as a renter and now as a t.i.c. owner and prior to that my parents lived here. we take great pride in having been part of san francisco from the early 60's. i think this is such critical legislation for those of us who are trying to stay in the city. middle income people are really looking for the stability of staking our claim as part of this great city and want to stay here for the long-term. certainly from our building's standpoint there were no ellis act, no one's been evicted in terms of the t.i.c. i think that our -- one of my
3:35 pm
greatest challenges and the things that keep me up at night are whether we're going to be able to continue our mortgage. we have tried numerous times to refinance. there is no loan product available for us. i know that's something that's been echoed throughout the chamber today. but i think the really critical piece here is this is a very real problem for a lot of real people who are really just trying to make their way in san francisco, and give back to the community considerably. the pressure that would be taken off of me by having essentially financial stability would be huge. and on top of that, as i've told many of my friends and colleagues, i would much rather, instead of paying the high interest rates that i'm paying to city bank right now i would like to return that money to san francisco instead. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> jim ingles, i'm her husband,
3:36 pm
and am in the t.i.c. partnership. i'm a disabled veteran and a government employee, but not a millionaire, not a multi-millionaire. and conversion to condos are important to us individual people, as normal taxpayers, and as moderate income individuals. we see this legislation as not damaging the rental market. maybe a few units, 15% of t.i.c.s are rented, 85 or people -- 85% of those t.i.c.s are occupied by the owners. the people who convert are going to stay in those houses and continue to pay taxes, and continue to volunteer, like my wife and i, and continue to be part of the society. if we can't condo convert the odds are that we can't stay in the city. we love it here and we'd love to
3:37 pm
stay. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> hi. thank you. so my name is lance wilson, i'm in district 10, i live in potrero hill. i was a rent control renter for the the first seven years i was in san francisco. i have been a t.i.c. owner now for five years. we adopted our 18-month-old baby daughter from san francisco, a year and a half ago, obviously, and we're raising her on the hill and we intend to stay there. we didn't displace anybody when we moved into the building when we became t.i.c. owners. we also have a renter in our building who we support, respect, and want to continue to support in the building. he is fully protected under this piece of legislation. we want to support that and contribute back to low income housing in san francisco. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> my name is fran taylor. the definition of chutzpah is
3:38 pm
you kill your parents and then you throw yourself on the mercy of the court because you're an orphan. i'd like to modernize that definition. you support t.i.c.s, you push t.i.c.s, you shove t.i.c.s down our throat, you displace people right and left and 10 years later you say t.i.c.s are horrible, they're victims. the victims are the the people who were kicked out in the first purge and we're facing a second purge. it's class warfare. call it what it is. for the t.i.c. people who have a difficult situation, i'm not your enemy. i go to occupy the banks actions and i see single families and tenants being evicted. i haven't seen t.i.c. owners. get yourself down there. all those people that -- not people, those banksters you've
3:39 pm
named. don't kick us out because of what the banks are doing to you. >> chair wiener: next speaker. >> my name's andy, i've lived in the city for 18 years. my first 12 years i was a renter. six years ago, i got into a six unit building with my fellow neighbors. all of us, except for myself, have lived in the city for over 18 years. the only person who has lived there less than me is because she's younger than us. if you've lived in the city for a while everybody knows who city apartments is. i had a problem with city apartments and i'd like to acknowledge aaron peskin. he showed me how to fight city apartments and referred me to the tenants union, which i know opposes this legislation but i
3:40 pm
can't thank the tenants union enough because they really helped me to get city apartments off my back and i think they've gone out of business now. my point is that i would never, in a million years, move into a building with a ellis eviction act. my building is completely clean, and i'm middle class, recently married. we hope to have a family. and it seems like automatic clock work, if you have a child in san francisco, more than likely you have to leave. we'd like to raise our family in san francisco. and i know the tenants union is opposed to this but i was with a tenants union. i was a member of the tenants union, and i can promise you this legislation does not harm people. we would never do anything to hurt anybody. now i'm a t.i.c. owner and i still love san francisco as much as i did when i was a owner and i would like to stay here and this legislation would provide relief. thank you.
3:41 pm
>> chair wiener: thank you. before we get to the next speaker i think there was some confusion when people came in from the overflow room. if i have not called your name, if you could please take a seat. we're doing it in the order -- or roughly in the order of names being called. so if you are in line, if your name hasn't been called, take a seat. >> my name is brian bassinger, director of the aids alliance. jane thank you for your leadership on this and supervisor chiu i appreciate your help. i fell in love with you for a little bit, jane. anyway, in my hand here is the documentation of the legal condo conversion of the building i lived in at 65 and 67 pearl street that was the impetus no pass legislation that passed unanimously at the board of supervisors. i was the guy who created the legislation that was supposed to keep all of these people, who evicted a senior or disabled person from condo converting and
3:42 pm
i have the proof here that that's not working, that -- and we have an indication that this could be a much bigger problem, that there could be all of these condos that should have -- these buildings that should never have been able to condo convert that are condo converting. and i call on you all to support a call for the city to put a moratorium on all condo conversions until there can be a thorough audit of the city agencies responsible for preventing these illegal evictions from happening. and that has to stop right now. because any -- it's possible that this group of people, that you're giving this fast pass to condo conversion to, quite possible some of them have -- disable the people and should not be able to condo convert. also, after being evicted from my home, i want a bmr condo which i had to sell because i can no longer afford it and we could not refinance when my
3:43 pm
roommate retired. so i believe in real affordable home ownership through bmrs. t.i.c.s don't pass my moral compass. but it never occurred to me that i would say my finances are hard and i need you to remove those affordability restrictions from bmrs. i knew what the risks are and took the consequences. also -- >> chair wiener: i will ask people to let everyone speak, without positive or negative statements from the audience. thank you. were you done? thank you. i am aware of that. >> my name is tommy, i'm with the housing rights committee of san francisco. id like to talk about the -- of protections that tenants have in the law right now. the reality is there are no real protections for tenants right now in the law that will stop a tenant from being evicted for a
3:44 pm
t.i.c. there is no real protection. let's talk about the peskin legislation which i helped pass in 2005. right after that passed speculators and investors began to do buyouts. we saw them in my office, tons of buyout letters. they started to do threats, among spanish speakers they were telling them we're going to report you because we know you're undocumented if you don't leave. the reality they shifted from using ellis to using threats and buyouts. we don't know how many buildings are in the lottery right now where that happened, where someone was bought out or threatened. how can we talk about clean buildings unless we do some kind of investigation. the protection in wiener and farrell's legislation for someone living in a t.i.c., we all know the lifetime leases are problematic under costa hawkins, but the other thing is it's very simple for a landlord of a t.i.c. to simply threaten or buy
3:45 pm
out that tenant and circumvent the lifetime lease. again there are no real protections for tenants. the only real protection for tenants against evictions for t.i.c.s is to not do t.i.c.s, period, end of discussion. let's provide homeowners other ways. we should be building. new construction is how we provide home ownership for middle income people. stop cannibalizing the rental stack. evicting one group of people to provide homes for others is not good policy. we should be together in demanding that this city provide affordable housing for everyone, and that we use new construction to provide condos for are people in the middle income level. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon. i'm marie coons from district 10, a t.i.c. owner. we bought our four unit building in 2005. we're original t.i.c. partners.
3:46 pm
it was our way into the market at that time. my other partners are much younger than i am. i came into it as a -- after a dissolution of a marriage and it was my only ability to be able to buy at that time. we're very supportive of this condo bypass conversion, and we ask that you please take it into consideration. it's the answer to a lot of people's need to have homes in san francisco. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> high name is sheryl power, i live in district 5, i'm a t.i.c. owner and i bought my t.i.c. in 2004, with two other couples. and it was a perfectly empty building. nobody was evicted. we bought it from a retiring couple and their kids use the other two units. it's a three unit building. at the time we thought it would take five to seven years to
3:47 pm
convert and we got our adjustable loan and now we're sitting on an adjustable loan and watching the market go by us. and i'm just worried every year if i'm going to be able to afford to stay. i don't make nearly as much money as i used to and now i'm a single mom. and i really want to raise my daughter in san francisco. and ides like to get out from underneath my t.i.c. loan. so i have a chance of doing that. thanks. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> afternoon, supervisors. my name is mike sullivan. i'm the cochair of plan c san francisco. we're the group that has led the fight for these first time homeowners and renters who want to be homeowners some day to achieve condo reform. you have heard already, and will hear more from many people about why this is good for san franciscans, why this is
3:48 pm
smart policy. if ever there was a fair compromise piece of legislation, this is it. helping hundreds and hundreds of your constituents, hurting no one, and providing 20 million, 25 million perhaps for affordable housing in san francisco, this is truly a win/win/win situation. but i'm not going to talk today about why this is good policy because you will hear that from others. what i'd like to talk about is why this is good politics as well. if you can get that on the screen. they say a picture speaks a thousand words. and as soon as this shows up -- >> chair wiener: one second. sf gtv needs to actually broadcast that. if you could pause the clock please.
3:49 pm
thanks. why don't we go on to the next speaker and when we get this fixed we will bring you back for your public comment. i apologize. next speaker please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. first of all i want to thank you for your time to listen to all of us today. this is a long afternoon for you, so we appreciate your time. my name is -- i'm a resident of district 1 in the richmond district. i want to say that i really urge you to support this ordinance. i'm a t.i.c. owner. i believe this ordinance is a win/win solution for the city,
3:50 pm
for renters, for t.i.c. owners and people who want to own property in san francisco and stay here in the future. i'm a working class person in san francisco. i immigrated here when i was 9 with my family. we're a family of five. my dad makes $600, back in 1984. we had to pay $400 into rent, to a studio in san francisco. so i have really gone through the system. i went through diablo elementary school, press h presidio middle, and completed my bachelor's degree. i'm fortunate enough to return to the city and similar to all the stories you've heard today, in 2005 i borrowed from friends and family in order to buy this t.i.c. unit. today, we're a four unit t.i.c. building. all of the owners are middle
3:51 pm
class family. most of us were born and raised in san francisco, or pretty much grew up in the city. we're very vested in the city. we work here, volunteer here, and we would appreciate your help to allow us to stay here. so please support this ordinance, and this is good policy, good politics, and good for the city, and appreciate your time. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. and i believe we've now worked out the problem with sf gov -- we haven't? sorry, mr. sullivan. next speaker please. >> hi. my name is darren -- i'm in district 5. and i came to give you another human face to what this would actually do for people in the city. i'm an actor. i do mostly theater. i've been here 20 years. my wife is a psycho therapist and codirector of the haight ashbury services which provides help for the working poor in san francisco. we're renters for a long time.
3:52 pm
t.i.c. was not our goal. we didn't buy t.i.c. to be t.i.c. owners the rest of our lives. we're trying to be homeowners in the city and that's the vehicle to be able to do it. as you see from this diagram that mr. sullivan will bring up, it's not possible now to become a condo. the lottery is broken. and so meanwhile we're sitting in a home without the same kinds of protections and rights that other people have, a normal homeowner would have or renters have. that's why this is important. we're getting squeezed. i honestly think you can't -- this is an affordable housing issue for everybody. you can't just help renters. you have to help homeowners as well. we're all in it together. frankly i don't understand, one should balance the other out. if rents become too high then people buy homes. if homes become too high they become renters. we're not developers, we're not kicking anybody out, we're just trying to own our own home.
3:53 pm
thanks. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker please. >> good afternoon. my name is joanne, i am a t.i.c. owner. i first moved to san francisco in 1996. first i was a renter, i lived in noe, cole, bernal heights. i was able to purchase a t.i.c. in 2006 and we've been participating in the lottery every year that we've been eligible. and we have a long-term commitment to this neighborhood, myself and my fellow owners. in fact one of my fellow owners had been a renter in the building and when they are landlord put it on the market that's when we bought it. so this was an opportunity for her to stay in the apartment that she's been in since i think 1996, herself. we're worried though about our financial flexibility and our ability to refinance. frankly,i'm even more scared after today because i didn't
3:54 pm
realize how bad it was until i heard a lot of the testimony from others today. you know, the 200 units a year, that was appropriate at the time that the lottery was set up, but it's clearly no longer appropriate to the current situation, the current housing market. and it no longer represents a reasonable percentage of the building -- or the units that are available today. i just want to reiterate i think this is a win for everyone. i think it provides much-needed cash for the city, it helps out -- removes the financial instability for the t.i.c. owners, and finally -- and i do not see it -- tenants because they're not in these units today. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> mr. chair, i believe it's working now. >> chair wiener: oh, it is working. mr. sullivan, you can come back up. my apologies and we will restore the amount of time that you had left. >> thank you, supervisors.
3:55 pm
what this chart shows is both the policy and the politics of condo reform. the red line going up shows that over the last 10 years, the number of people backed up behind the lottery has tripled. at the same time, the black bar going down, over the same period, shows that evictions are down by over 80%. and so you have hundreds and thousands of people who are frustrated, who just want to own their own homes in san francisco, who are the life blood of this city, who are frustrated, at the same time that tenants know or should know if they read this legislation that they are absolutely protected with rock solid protections that the proponents of this legislation have bent over backwards to make sure there are tenant protection and they should be applauded for that. so there is a myth that supporting condo reform is toxic if you're a politician in
3:56 pm
san francisco and i argue that it's just the opposite right now. we have made it our job to make sure that every one of these 10,000 t.i.c. owners and probably 14,000 t.i.c. voters know who's helping them with condo reform and who is not. they're turning out in droves in elections. they turned out in droves in district 5 in our most recent election and they are turning out -- and if there was ever a single issue voter these are people -- this is the legislation that is the most important to their personal lives, that affects their families, it affects them more than anything else. so this is not only good policy for san francisco. i think you've heard that from a number of people. but it's also good politics for anybody who has the courage to support this legislation. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> hi. good afternoon. mark brian. and i am a t.i.c. owner in
3:57 pm
district 5, i'm a single parent, i've been a resident of san francisco for 22 years. 12 years ago i went together with two other -- or a young families, so that we could buy a home that was affordable in san francisco. we were sold a bill of goods by the real estate agents that we would be able to convert. we initially moved into our home and enjoyed it, waiting to get into the lottery. now it's many, many years later, i've been in the lottery for seven years, our children have grown up and yet i'm here asking to pay the city of san francisco for the right to have -- to be a homeowners here in this fine city. so i'm willing to pay. all i want to do is have the same rights that other homeowners have, to have my -- and i'm doubly held hostage by the collapse of the mortgage industry which has limited options of t.i.c. owners. we're asking what's fair for those in the middle class and who chose to stay here and asking to be set free from this
3:58 pm
hostage information. isn't that what san francisco is about, fairness and freedom for everyone, including the middle class. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> you mentioned you were sold a bill of goods by your real estate agent. can you exownd. >> we were told the process could take five to seven years to get through the lottery process and yet there was no rules on how many new t.i.c.s could come into the program. but they said there was a growing demand to go into the lottery but the stagnant amount of folks coming out. so now your odds of getting through the lottery are 20 years. and the double whammy was being then the mortgage marketed collapsed so our options for financing -- i mean this is the biggest investment that every person in my building -- it was empty when we bought it. we're all still there and being held hostage by our mortgage. we have no choices. so it's really, really unfair that we were told this is a
3:59 pm
process, you can convert to own yourself. and yet they just continue to stuff the pipe, in my opinion, because it was commissions for them. they could bundle thee people together, five people together, get a bigger commission. we were naive first time homebuyers, every person in our lottery and now paying the price of wanting to live and own a home in san francisco. that's what we're guilty of. >> supervisor chiu: thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> my name is sandra and this is my husband, i'm a 20 year resident of san francisco and nine year t.i.c. owner. i was a renter for many years with a dream of one day owning in san francisco. after a lot of hard work and savings my husband and i were able to buy a t.i.c. we were not looking for a t.i.c. but it was at the price point we could afford. i am not rich. i am a